$100 Million BRAIN Initiative Will Increase Collaboration, Accelerate Treatments

On Tuesday, April 2, PAN CEO Amy Comstock Rick, along with other leaders in the Parkinson’s disease and neurological community, attended a White House event where President Obama announced a bold new research initiative, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. 

The BRAIN Initiative ultimately aims to help researchers find new ways to treat, cure, and prevent many diseases of the brain, including Parkinson's.  PAN is excited about this cross-agency, collaborative focus on brain research.  As our community knows all too well, so much is unknown about how the brain functions at a healthy state and what is occurring when the brain fails to function properly.  We are very hopeful the BRAIN Initiative can answer questions and create tools that will be directly applicable to our understanding of, and better treatments for, Parkinson's disease.

The BRAIN Initiative will be a collaborative effort of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

We understand that NIH, DARPA, and NSF have collectively agreed to invest approximately $100 million of Fiscal Year 2014 funds to jumpstart this exciting new effort, with $40 million coming from the NIH.  In addition, the NIH is establishing a working group to determine the specific goals for this initiative and create a plan for achieving these goals.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done to unlock the mysteries of the brain and we applaud the president and these government agencies for taking this ambitious first step.  As always, PAN will be working with Congress and these three agencies to ensure this new initiative is successful.  

For information about the BRAIN Initiative, please check out the following resources:

BRAIN Initiative Challenges Researchers to Unlock Mysteries of Human Mind (The White House)
Fact Sheet:  BRAIN Initiative (The White House)
What is the NIH BRAIN Initiative? (National Institutes of Health)

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Date originally posted: April 24, 2013.